Impacts of the Net Neutrality Repeal on SMBs

By CIOReview | Monday, February 25, 2019

Soon after the Federal Communications Commission votes to repeal net neutrality, all the innovative aspects of the internet may have changed. Net neutrality is a controversial issue in several parts of the world today. Net neutrality claims that a change in the status quo would adversely affect small businesses and local consumers, whereas anti-net neutrality laws are believed to be too restrictive and need to change to make the content available on the World Wide Web freer.

The Obama administration developed net neutrality in 2015 and is based on the principle that all data must be treated equally under the law. Net neutrality advocates wanted to ensure that ISP’s data speed and delivery were not discriminated against because they believed that the Internet should keep the data flow as free and open as possible. Indeed, this net neutrality was seen as one of the greatest innovations in the development of an inclusive digital economy. By providing equal access and the ability to present site and content to the same audience, it has opened up the space for all from start-ups and freelancers to small business owners.

The repeal of net neutrality is an extremely important benefit for internet service providers, as website fees can now be charged to deliver their information to users more quickly. These ISPs may in some ways also restrict users’ ability to access their chosen contents. These ISPs are the biggest beneficiaries of that abolition, and the losers are small companies that can't afford to pay large amounts of money to ISPs or to compete with major firms.

All those who stand for and strongly oppose net neutrality have fought a bitter fight. The tech world is completely divided, with cable operators taking control of online content in the last instance. In recent times, AT&T was prevented from taking over Time Warner by the Justice Department. The telecom giant will also be in control of CNN, Warner Bros, and HBO.

Net neutrality advocates in the U.S. urge people to fight to keep the internet as it is. Operators believe that this will help maintain the internet for business and users free and open. It is not known whether these measures produce the desired results. Nevertheless, one thing is almost certain: the imposition of net neutrality will have an adverse effect on local businesses, which cannot compete with large companies in a paid online world.